KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Texarkana, Ark., was named "top dog" today in the PetSafe "Bark for Your Park" contest, beating out more than 1,000 nominated cities across the U.S. and winning a $100,000 PetSafe dog park.
Oak Forest, Ill., was the contest's runner up, winning $25,000 to put toward building a local off-leash dog park. Derby, Vt., won the "Bark from Your Heart" award, earning the highest ratio of votes to population out of the contest's 15 finalist cities and also winning $25,000.
"What began with a handful of passionate citizens has grown into a community project of love for our animals, and it has united both sides of our town," said Wayne Smith, mayor of the Texarkana, Ark., side of the twin cities that span the Arkansas-Texas border. "And by working together, we have succeeded in winning the 2012 PetSafe 'Bark for Your Park' contest! Working together has included pet professionals, pet owners, shelters, welfare groups, local news and media outlets, local civic officials and many others – from Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texarkana, Texas, as well as surrounding communities and family and friends across the U.S. Our community is overjoyed and grateful to everyone who helped us win the $100,000 grand prize so that Texarkana citizens – human and canine – can enjoy a safe place to play, exercise and socialize."
With a total of 659,550 votes cast in the contest, competition was fierce among the 15 finalist cities, but Texarkana received the most votes at a total of 167,373. With its $100,000 grand prize, Texarkana plans to start construction on the PetSafe Jef-FUR-son Dog Park as part of the city's Jefferson Park, but first Texarkana is celebrating how the community united to win the nationwide contest.
"Hundreds of dogs will enjoy having dog parks in Texarkana, Oak Forest and Derby," said Randy Boyd, president and CEO of Radio Systems Corporation, the maker of the PetSafe brand. "But dogs can't open the gate and let themselves in. Dog parks are just as much about the owners – people of all ages, genders and races, sitting on the same bench and finding common ground in their love of their pets. We've heard from several cities that the contest not only built awareness for a local dog park but unified neighbors across the community. That's the magic of a dog park – and the aim of the 'Bark for Your Park' contest."
Oak Forest finished in second place with 123,417 votes, and Derby's 31,105 votes earned the city the highest ratio of votes to population.
Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, PetSafe leads the industry in the development of innovative pet behavior, containment, lifestyle product solutions and services. Visit: www.petsafe.net.